Samichlaus Classic Bier | Brauerei Schloss Eggenberg

Samichlaus Classic BierSamichlaus Classic Bier
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4.02 w/ 2,056 ratings
Samichlaus Classic BierSamichlaus Classic Bier

Brewed by:
Brauerei Schloss Eggenberg

Style: Doppelbock

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 14.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
The once strongest beer in the world is back! Brewed only once a year on December 6. Samichlaus is aged for 10 months before bottling. This beer is perhaps the rarest in the world. Samichlaus may be aged for many years to come. Older vintages become more complex with a creamy warming finish. Serve with hardy robust dishes and desserts, particulary with chocolates, or as an after dinner drink by itself. Brewed under the exclusive licence of Feldschlösschen-Hürlimann-Holding, Switzerland.

Added by UncleJimbo on 02-25-2001

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Ratings: 2,056 |  Reviews: 1,101
Photo of Daniellobo
3.47/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A bit over-hyped brew in this current incarnation. While an interesting experience it rests too heavily on its iconic reputation that is not really up to it on this batch.

Presentation: 330 ml. (11.2 Fl. Oz.) bottle. Old fashion streamed label design in silver and brown with brewery logos and Samichlaus imagery. Front label brags about its originality, which is extended on the back label with a minimal historic note, cellaring life, and a repeat phrase about its extraordinary grandeur. Shows bottling date as 2008, hence brewed on December 6, 2007 and aged for 10 months. Notes Alc. by Vol. (14%) Poured into a snifter.

A - Ruby brown with a quick 1/4" bubbly head that fades in a blink and leaves no lacing, in fact struggles to leave much of a surface memory with a totally flat appearance.

S - Boozy sweetness, there is some caramel, a malty note maybe, but a sugar coated alcohol range predominates.

T - The flavor echoes the smell and if anything exacerbates the flat extremes of the brew. It lacks a malty, sweet or even fruity complexity, while there is a dark fruit range struggling to emerge a flat sweet booze takes firm command.

M - Medium body with a prominent and single minded alcohol profile. It is trying to be somewhat smooth but overall it does not quite make it.

D - Not too good a sipper actually. The alcohol profile is not only too prominent, which is not necessarily a problem, but it is too single minded, and without much range to offer it can only pick up the predominant sugary character with minimal complexities.

Notes: If it didn´t brag so loudly about how it is the most extraordinary beer in the world maybe one would not fell that it is getting itself knocked out before the fight has started. Too pompous for its own good, I´d rather have them concentrate on the brew and not in one legged marketing around a tired reputation. In fact, without this propaganda, one could even say that it remains a decent brew with a way to go. But surely this is nowhere close to being the most extraordinary anything in the world...

I´m storing away the rest of this four-pack. Here´s hoping that a few years will mature this brew taking it a bit closer to the reputation that it gained over its history.

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Photo of papat444
3.78/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

***2008 vintage***

I've had this a few times in the past but it makes a while since my last one. My wife got the ball rolling on this one actually as it's one of her favorites and she brought 4 to her parents when we went for supper there last night so that's where i had it.

Poured from a 330ml. bottle.

Appearance: A semi-clear amber body with 1-2 finger head.

Smell: Sweet smelling with some dark fruit. Not as strong of an aroma as i would have expected.

Taste: The intense sweetness is what hits you first. Also some hints of figs and dried plums. Tastes a little like liquid candy.

Mouthfeel: I'm not sure why but it doesn't really feel full-bodied. All boozy upfront and ends rather abruptly. No fullness to speak of really. It is quite smooth regardless and the carbonation is very low as it should be.

Drinkability: Taking the ABV into consideration, i found it drinks rather well. A sipper for sure but it didn't feel like a chore.

Overall: I like it but not as much as i used to. Still, it's a good beer and i'll still try it from time to time.

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Photo of Bisho
4.57/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 330ml bottle into a Samichlaus tulip glass - 2006 vintage.

Mmmm... Christmas beers. I love to try these things but funny enough, here in Australia, it's always the beginning of summer when they get released!

A: Brown with ruby red hues. Small head which dissipates fast leaving lots of tiny bubbles around the glass. Very little lacing on top.

S: Lots of brown sugar, sweet malt and dark fruits. A lillte yeast, baked bread & chocolate. Oh, and the alcohol is sure there in the nose too!

T: Unbelievable! Doesn't hit you straight away but the flavour emerges as you swirl it around your mouth. Sweet bread, plums, prunes, sweet malt & a hint of chocolate caramel.

M: Syrupy with lots of carbonation and the ABV is always present. This one gets smoother as it warms in the glass.

D: I love this beer. To me it's like drinking a fizzy port with more sweetness on the back of the palate. A definite sipper. I have managed to down 3 in one sitting but at 14% ABV, as well as being pricey, it is definitely not a session beer. Will cellar well too if you have the patience!

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Photo of Jwale73
3.97/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2 fl oz. bottle served in a pilsener glass. Bottled in 2008 indicated on the label. Poured a translucent reddish-brown with a loose half inch off-white head that promptly dissipates into a fizzy skim and band around the perimeter of the glass; no lacing. Nose is dark fruit (plumes, prunes, green apple), brown sugar, molasses and a little booze at the back. Taste consistent with nose - very sweet and almost vinous in some regards, on a malty backbone. Mouthfeel is light-medium with an aggressive, almost prickly carbonation and some residual heat the lingers on the tongue and at the back of the throat. Delicious and complex - probably a little young, but this brew has great aging potential. Pick some up and throw it in your cellar.

This is actually a review of a 1996 vintage from the closed Hurlimann Brewery. Thanks to Dave Guay for perhaps one of the most memorable beers I've tried.
A: 4.0 - Pours a hazy, burnished chestnut - no head or lacing.
N: 4.5 - Nose reveals brown sugar, molasses, chocolate, tootsie rolls and figs towards the back.
T: 4.5 - Follows nose - more chocolate comes out in the flavor profile.
M: 4.0 - Medium-light, some acidity and a little chalkiness.
D: 5.0 - Incredible - such complexity. It is simply amazing as to what some age has done for this beer. My understanding is that the recipe is still the same, but 14 years has made this an exquisite and one of the most memorable beers I've ever tried.

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Photo of rarbring
4.24/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A brown amber beer with red hints, very small head and nearly no lace. An oily surface is seen at swirl.

A very distinct almost pungent smell, stable, earth, dried fruits like dates, the alcohol is nearly overpowering.

A sweet heaven of dried fruites, raisins, figs, dates and apricots. Malty caramel and bread notes are there as well, with almonds and sherry tones. And of course the alcohol content is very much present. A short bitterness is noted but the overall impression is a sherry sweetness.

Very little carbonation, but a very nice sauternes feeling.

This is a clear sit-and-enjoy-before-the-fire-beer, and let it last for a long time.

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Photo of mondegreen
4.23/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008 Vintage. 11oz Bottle poured into a Samichlaus Tulip.

A: Gorgeous garnet hue. Small receding head, leaving only a slight amount of lace around the rim. Lots of carbonation bubbles rising up the side of the tulip.

S: Sweet malts & yeast. Bread & fruit.

T: Taste is slow to emerge, but comes on full force after a second on the tongue. The sweetness is huge, followed by a pleasent alcohol burn in the aftertaste.

M: Moderate carbonation, thick syrupy brew. Very nice.

D: For 14%, this beer is an easy sipper. I'd worry about cloying if I had too many, but I don't see anything wrong with this beer.

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Photo of hmf05
4.6/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A: clear, dark red, quickly dissipating head

S: nice whiff of baked bread, dark fruits (cherry, plum, raisin), slight milk chocolate. one of the best smelling beers i have ever come across

T: extremely sweet (not unlike the 120 min ipa), bread, cherry, plums, some sort of spice, maybe some milk chocolate

M: light carbonation, thick syrupy consistency

D: For what it is, it is pretty drinkable. i don't taste the 14% that the label suggests. It's obviously a sipper. GET IT!

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Photo of biggred1
3.8/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2009 Vintage.

Clear dark ruby with a slight creamy skim of cream colored foam. The nose is big and alcoholic with buttered rum, dark fruit and oaky vanilla bean. The flavor is very rich and vinuous tasting with notes of spiced rum and prune juice that grow more complex as it warms up a bit. Thick and syrupy bodied with subtle carbonation that adds to the drinkability. I'd bet a year or so in the cellar would do this beer some good.

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Photo of david18
2.96/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I'm not sure what the big deal is with this beer. Like i said in my review of this beer in a bottle, this is too strong and too sweet for my taste.

The bar I had it at, Spuyten Duyvil, was so head over heals about this beer, everyone talking about it (it just came on draft), people making special trips in, etc.

Anyway, it's a very dark beer with a strong dark fruit malt flavor but still not strong enough to balance the alcohol or the sweetness.

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Photo of OskarL
4.47/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2009 Classic

Appearance - A nice dark red to the brown side. With a small head that leaves very little lacing.

Smell - Lots of dark fruits like plumbs, sweet syrup, chocolate and alcohol in the background.

Taste - Malt, and lots of it! Dark fruits, sweet syrup, chocolate, butter, vanilla and warming alcohol that adds some spice to it as well. A very complex taste!

Mouthfeel - Very thick, full bodied with little carbonation.

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Photo of deltatauhobbit
3.99/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2006 Vintage

Pours an amber color with a faint tinge of orange when held up to the light, small head, no lacing.

Smell is strongly malty with a heavy caramel/toffee presence, there's also a lot of dark fruit in the aroma, a tinge of alcohol in the background but overall it's well hidden considering the 14%.

Taste is a caramel/toffee/dark fruit kick to the mouth, great carbonation with a crisp feel, a bit too sweet and sticky though, the alcohol burn is well hidden at first through the syrupy mouthfeel but eventually starts to make a slow burn.

Realized I hadn't actually reviewed this yet, kind of surprised but I'm glad I still had a bottle of 2006 to open up instead of a newer release.

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Photo of Evil_Pidde
4.45/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Pours clear dark amber with a rather small white fast-dissipating head.

S: Roasted malt, lots of dark dried fruits and a bit alcohol. Some sweetness to it as well.

T: Sweet rich light roasted malt, lots of dark dried fruits. Dark syrup and chocolate. A bit alcohol in the taste as well.

M: Full bodied and light carbonated. A nice pretty long aftertaste that holds some dry bitterness but a very rich sweetness. Creamy and alcoholic feel in the mouth.

D: I had the 2009 version, but I guess that the other bottles I bought and cellered will improve over the years. A very, very intersting and nice beer that probably will be greater for each year I'll manage to keep my hands off.

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Photo of DrDemento456
4.74/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

I had this 2007 vintage bottle on my shelf for almost a half a year. I wanted to drink it on an occasion and what better than the new year!

A - Never really saw the color to tell the truth. I always drank it out of the bottle (had this twice). I would say its a dark ruby color and after the first gulp it made a good amount of head inside the bottle.
S - Dark roasted fruits and chocolate. Awesome.
T - Much better than the 2005 vintage I had at a bar with a friend once. To me the 2005 tasted of malt liquor and chocolate but this 2007 vintage had heavy figs, raisins, and sweet chocolate.
M - As the beer warmed up the flavors got lighter and you could feel a slight alcohol burn but it wasn't too off putting.
D - At 6-8 dollars a bottle it's like champagne on new years but much more enjoyable.

Overall my friend and I agree that this was truly a great brew and I may track it down and buy it again if the price is reasonable (paid 6.00 for my bottle)

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Photo of Mora2000
4.32/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to thirdeye11 for sharing this bottle.

2006 vintage. Pours orangish-yellow with a white head. Very clear. The aroma is a mix of honey and brown sugar. The flavor is lots of honey with some alcohol. Very sweet. Lots of fruit in there as well. Medium mouthfeel.

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Photo of bmwats
4.39/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 33 cl bottle into a pilsner.

A: Dark rich amber. Pours a 1 finger bubbly white head. Settles slowly leaving a thin layer of bubbly carbonation on the surface. Eventually dissipates almost completely. A little lacing quickly retreats into the body of the brew.

S: Dark roasted malt. Bittersweet chocolate. Pecan shells, licorice, clove, and butterscotch. A little peaty.

T: Thick syrupy sweet malt. A lite bitter licorice. Butterscotch and caramel. Molasses.

M: Thick, heavy body. Sweet and bitter coats the palette. Pungent peaty aftertaste. Dry finish from the heavy alcohol content. Strong alcohol flavor, too.

D: Great beer to sit and sip.

Really good atmosphere. Appearance is deep, dark, and pristine, but not overly exciting. Nose is outstanding. Great tones... great combination of elements. Flavor has outstanding balance of sweet and bitter. Overall, this is a great quaff.

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Photo of baldmasterflex
3.34/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

12 Oz bottle bought at Total Wine in Delaware for $5.50. "Bottled in 2009" and "The World's Most Extraordinary Beverage" printed on the label.

The appearance is definitly unexpected, completely clear and suprisingly bright. When i think of a 14% ABV doppelbock i cant help but imagine a black/ brown sludge. It has a dark tan head that fades completely, but the liquid itself clings to the glass like a sugary schnapps.

The smell is definitly a wafting of dull bready sweetness. The taste does not stray from this either, very very sweet. The taste and mouthfeel definitly make me think of a sherry with its syrupy sweetness.

Mouthfeel of this beer is "unrelenting." It sticks and stays and doesnt go away. Very smooth and syrupy with the taste lingering. As i let the glass sit the alcohol on the nose becomes very apparent.

This is a very interesting beer. Very much a dessert beer just as one would consider a sherry or a port. It honestly feels like a real dessert in itself, like drinking a bottle of hershey's syrup.

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Photo of caddybuyer
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2007 release. This one has been aging in my cellar for a year. Looking forward to trying it. Poured at a cool cellar temperature into a tulip glass.

A-Firey red brick with a creamy white head that settles to a thin ring within a minute of the pour, as one would expect with this sort of alcohol punch. Very pretty coloration.

S-Strong musky malts and alcohol soaked dark fruits...this is going to be interesting....

T-Wow, what an amazing taste! Sweet brandy soaked candied cherries, toffee, a hint of chocolate followed by an unexpected finishing hop buzz, all underscored by warming alcohol, but it never overpowers the beer or seems too hot. My guess is that you could cellar this forever and it only improves with time. The sweetness of this beer would allow it to pair well with dessert. I can only imagine how good this would be with some pecan pie. I am pairing it with some chocolate.

M-Slightly syrupy and sticky, Medium heavy, but not overpowering. Carbonation is spot on.

D-Not one to pound back to back, surely, but a brew that deserves a place in my cellar. Well done.

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Photo of samie85
4.38/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2007 Release. Reviewed from notes. Originally consumed 12/23.

A- Pours an interesting ruby color with a white head.

S-Smells of dark fruit and spicy yeast with some alcohol sweetness.

T-Wow, rich dark fruit with some alcohol and almost an orange sweetness to it.

M-Really thick and syrupy smooth with low carbonation. I've never had a beer that's had this sort of sticky, huge body before.

D-it has insane drinkability for a 14% beer. It's almost cordial-like in it's body and a great beer for cold, winter nights.

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Photo of Shumista
4.35/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2007 vintage. Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A- The color is dark brownish red with very little to no head.

S- Rum, booze, dark fruits, sweet candied sugar.

T- Dark fruit flavor predominates. The alcohol is present but pretty well hidden. Also the sweet candied sugar from the aroma, rum soaked fruitcake, and spice.

M- Thick, syrupy, mouth coating. Very warming.

D- I could very easily mistake this for an 8 or 9% beer. Definitely a beer that would help me get through a Christmas with my highly dysfunctional family.

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Photo of kegger22
4.22/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Samichlaus Bier is a clear, red/brown color with a moderate head that had little retention.

The aroma reminded my of North Coast Old Stock; very, very sweet and very alcoholic like barrel aged stuff.

The taste was similar to good, old ale too. Caramel malt, molasses and heavy alcohol. Gotta love it.

The mouth feel started medium but as it warmed, tended toward full bodied. The carbonation was barely evident and didn't hurt the beer any.

Drinkability can only be called fair because of a 14.0 ABV, but I do want another.

I know Samichlaus is a doppelbock, but it has many similarities to old ale, or better barleywines. I'm not complaining, that makes it one of the best doppels I've had.

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Photo of rapidsequence
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle. 2008 vintage.

Appearance: Clear light brown with a very short lived head that leaves a thin rim of soft looking bubbles. Leggy lace runs back into the beer after each sip.

Smell: Strong sweet maltiness, rum soaked dark fruits. Lots of booze.

Taste: Very liquory. This is a big boozy, malt bomb. Very sweet, rum raisins, almost some cherry. Ethanol and slightly medicinal fusels or phenols on the finish. Its a big boozy mess, but its pretty delicious for what it is.

Mouthfeel: Syrup broken only by the sharp burn of alcohol. Its not flat, but once it settles, the mouthfeel is a bit like port-- very still, thick and sticky.

Drinkability: I'll get it again. A nice Christmas sipper. Pretty damn good really. Not an everyday beer.

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Photo of frankd97
3.38/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

Due to the alcohol content, I found the sweetness in this beer to be overpowering. The color and feel of this beer were outstanding. I would say the 12oz bottle should be shared between 2-3 people. I tried to enjoy this as a pint and was overwhelmed.

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Photo of lordofthewiens
3.97/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured in a goblet, the beer was a chesnut color with virtually no head. The aroma was fruity caramel and whiskey. The taste was of caramel and some kind of dark fruit. The whiskey taste was there, but muted. I thought this was a fairly mellow beer, not hot. The alcohol is there, though, so be careful with this one.

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Photo of wchesak
4.1/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Limited Edition 2009 bomber poured into .4L Brussels Balloon Goblet from Great Divide

A - dark ruby amber color, off white bit of head that leaves quickly and leaves a thin line on top of the beer but no lacing

S - malty caramel tinged with cherry notes

T - sweet caramel malt, dark fruits, rum soaked cherries, alcohol comes at very end and is not very hot

M - syrupy and full bodied, not that much carbonation but fitting for what the beer is

D - liked the bomber because its hard to split the regular size bottles, each year this beer continues to be one of my favorite winter warmers

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Photo of Pleepleus
3.91/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled in 2005
Poured from bottle to goblet a clear chestnut color with a minimal head that dissipates immediately with no sheen or signs of lacing. Smelled like sweet mahogany, whiskey and honey. Made me think of the Mead my Viking ancestors drank. Heavy alcohol on the tongue. Had a sweet malty boozy flavor with honey and smoky molasses. If you enjoy a strong sipper this is a gem, but definately not a session beer. The 14% seems more like 25%. I am getting a buzz from remembering it and simply typing my notes.

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Samichlaus Classic Bier from Brauerei Schloss Eggenberg
Beer rating: 78.5% out of 100 with 2,056 ratings
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